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Grampian Save £’s using Aareon QL Contractor Portal

Originally formed in 1973, as Grampian (Woodside) Housing Society Ltd, a co-ownership housing society. Grampian Housing Association (GHA) was re-formed two years later as a registered housing association and now manages 3,545 homes in Aberdeen and the surrounding areas.

Grampian HA have been an Aareon UK customer since September 2014 when they implemented the Aareon QL Housing Management System.  The organisation recently upgraded to the latest version of the Aareon QL Product; V4.

Grampian manage all of their repairs and maintenance using Aareon QL Repairs and Aareon QL Contractor Portal.  The QL Contractor Portal is designed for use by any housing organisation which uses external contractors to carry out some or all of its work. Saving organisations and their Contractors time and money, promoting a clear and efficient repairs and maintenance service.

In April 2017, Grampian launched its own Housing Maintenance Company, TLC.  TLC was formed to save GHA money, to ensure that profits could be re-invested back into the association and to give GHA better control of its customer service.  Together with TLC, Grampian use 5 other contractors to carry out repairs work on the Associations properties.

Important requirements for GHA when considering Aareon QL Contractor;

·       To develop and provide real time Aareon QL access to their external contractor allowing the client to monitor performance.

·       Aareon QL Contractor must allow technical staff to authorise everything remotely from anywhere allowing paper processes to be discontinued.

·       Every key action and authorisation must be recorded and saved in Aareon QL.

·       The ability for Contractors need to arrange appointment directly with customers.

·       To provide Grampian staff access to view the status of orders in virtual real time environment.

·       Remove duplication and paper lead processes.

·       Electronic invoicing.

Grampian’s Contractors found Aareon QL Contractor Portal, straight forward and easy to use following the initial training delivered by Grampian staff.

Sanjay Sabharwal, Grampians Business Analyst (who together with staff in Property Services and IT took a lead in developing this solution) had this to say  “QL Contractor allows external contractors or internal DLOs access to update the clients housing management system to give virtually real time progress on work orders with every contact recorded giving a full history on the order”

There have been many benefits to Grampian Housing, the Contractor, the Client and the Resident;

Grampian Housing

·       Financial Savings of around £10k yearly on stationery and postage

·       No duplication of administrative processes within GHA as contractors are updating QL Contractor Portal resulting in staff time savings equivalent to 1.5FTE

The Contractors

·       Real time access to orders

·       Ability to request variations, complete, submit, create invoice and credit notes in real time

·       Receiving payments more frequently to support business

The Client

·       Faster recorded completions by contractor enables accurate measuring of performance KPIs enabling corrective measures to be implemented quickly.

·       Much faster, robust and fully auditable invoice processing.

·       Individual repair history recorded and locked in notes is invaluable during investigations.

·       Client can monitor progress

·       No duplication of work by staff

·       Staff approve variation requests in real time

·       Real time contractor performance and budget monitoring

The Resident

·       QL Task Centre sends orders to Contractors every 5 minutes allowing the contractor to arrange a mutually suitable appointment with the client and these are logged in QL Contractor portal.

·       Customers are getting their repairs done not only within target times but by appointment to suit

·       Satisfaction with a repairs service that delivers when the customer wants is proving very popular and is reflected in 95% rising satisfied or very satisfied feedback returns.

“Our Contractors can, within set authorisation levels, raise orders, request order variations for approval by the client, add notes specific to the repair history, complete dates and times and invoice on Aareon QL Contractor and invoices fully matched and processed in the system.

Aareon QL Contractor allows contractors and GHA to monitor and report with fully electronic real time processes helping organisations reduce carbon footprints”

Grampian Housing were delighted to be shortlisted in the NHMF 2016 Best Practice in Maintenance Awards for Best Client.  This award was for the client organisation that was best at both meeting residents’ needs in the provision of an asset management service and demonstrated value for money.  The NHMF awards recognise success and ingenuity within the housing sector. They showcase projects and organisations that have excelled in improving the quality and efficiency of the services they provide.

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